Business Owners – Do you Really Own Your Website?

Designer team sketching a logo in digital design studio on computer, creative graphic drawing skills for marketing and branding

Business Owners – Do you Really Own Your Website?

So far, everything’s running smoothly – you’ve got all the permits you need to run your business, the team to carry out your vision, and you’re just about ready to launch your website.

But if your company’s website is getting an upgrade, it’s important to realize that redesigning it can get tricky. If you paid for someone else to create your website, there’s a very good chance you don’t actually own much of it.

Social Spice Media dives into the basics of website ownership:

Domain Name

Even if you’re paying your website host every month or year for the rights to use your domain name, you don’t actually own it. That’s right; even if you register it, your exclusive right to use the domain name is contingent on you renewing it every year. If you slip up and forget to make a payment, another business might take your domain name. Be mindful of your domain name’s expiration date!

Content Management System (CMS)/Web Host

Unless you’re writing your own website code, you don’t own the content management of your website. If you’re using a open-source content management systems like WordPress to build your site, you don’t own it but you can switch website design companies while maintaining the look of your website if you wish. However, if you have a closed-source web company designing your website, it’ll be more difficult to switch your website.

Web Design

If you designed your website, great! It’s all yours. If not, it’s owned by whoever created the design. Before hiring someone to design your website, make sure they’re able to give ownership of the design to you upon payment. This will make the process of switching website providers easier in the future, if that’s something you want to do. Otherwise, your web designer has the rights to it, and you’ll need their permission to use what they created.

Web Content

The rules on web content are fairly simple. If you wrote your website’s content, created its illustrations, or took photographs for your site, those all belong to you. If not, you can acquire ownership by paying the original content creator for their work.

The good news is that while you might not technically have ownership over all of the above aspects of your website, you do have a degree of control over your website. This is critical because you should easily be able to make necessary changes to your website’s content when the occasion arises. Before signing on with a web developer, make sure to ask if you actually own your website and read the fine print in your contract.

Think of it this way – your website is like a hotel. You may not own the property, but the various web entities that host your company’s website are there to make sure your ‘stay’ is all that you want it to be. Websites can also give administrative control to businesses so that they have the ability to update their content whenever they please. And depending on your web company, you can be given ownership rights to the website. Make sure to look into this before signing up with a website designer.

Get in touch with Social Spice Media to learn more about developing an affordable, functional website for your business and how you can effectively spend your marketing dollars. Our team pays attention to your goals and creates a custom strategy that delivers results.

Do you know someone who could benefit from our services? Refer them to us today! Our team is eager to connect with businesses in any industry. We serve the local needs of Ventura County and Santa Barbara as well as anywhere in the United States.